Two soldiers were killed as government troops clashed with New People’s Army (NPA) members in Bulusan, Sorsogon, on Thursday, the military said.

Three soldiers were also injured in the fighting, which resulted in the capture of an NPA camp in Brgy. San Ramon, Lt. Col. Teody Toribio, commander of the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion, said.

The clash occurred only a day after troops killed two suspected rebels and captured a ranking NPA officer in Camarines Sur.

On Thursday morning, a platoon comprised of two officers and 44 enlisted personnel of the 31st IB discovered the camp and encountered about 45 heavily-armed rebels, Toribio said.

The rebels, who had at least two M60 machine guns and two minimi squad automatic weapons, engaged soldiers in a 20-minute gun battle until 10 a.m., he said.

The military has yet to release the slain soldiers’ names. The injured were identified as Pfc. Jaypee Retardo, Cpl. Rolando Cruzado, and Cpl. Rodel Llandelar.

Retardo, who suffered a bullet wound to the head, was airlifted from Sorsogon to the AFP Medical Center in Quezon City 4:45 p.m., Maj. Angelo Guzman, spokesman of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, said.

Cruzado and Llandelar sustained minor wounds are now in stable condition at the Sorsogon Doctors Hospital, Guzman said.

Toribio said his troops reported seeing at least five rebels killed in the clash and were dragged away by their comrades.

“I believe they (rebels) have a lot of casualties as there are many bloodstains scattered in the camp,” he said, adding that landmines were also found at the site.

The rebel camp in Bulusan was discovered two days after soldiers found an abandoned encampment in the same town.

On Wednesday, soldiers killed two suspected rebels and captured Edgardo Sevilla, alleged finance officer of the NPA in Albay, during a clash in Iriga City, Camarines Sur. (John Roson)

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